Monday, January 16, 2012

Morrill's Monday Morning Mashup - 1/16/12


creative combination
or mixing of content
from different sources.

In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, I reread the text of his famous August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech that he gave in Washington D.C.:

Perhaps the most publicized line from his speech, and the one I remember best, is:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Beautiful, yes, but when I read the entire text, I was awed by the breadth of Dr. King's wisdom, and particularly, how much of it still applies today:

"We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone."
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Thank goodness for our dreams. As a writer, I'll admit, I sometimes daydream about my book, Broken Dolls, being made into a movie one day. (Click here to read a post on that daydream.)

So, though I had planned to post BookRiot's blog article on "Why Books Make the Best Movies" before the broadcast of The Golden Globe Awards, it is all the more appropriate now, because The Descendants, a movie based on a book by Kaui Hart Hemmings, won Best Picture.

Ms. Hemming's story (as told in the Garrett on the Road blog) is the stuff of dreams. But, I have to say, I was disappointed as I listened to the producers and directors accepting their awards last night, because Ms. Hemming's recognition as the author was only an afterthought, and barely captured before the award winners were cut off.

Where would all of them be had it not been for the story Kaui Hart Hemmings created?

# # #

Every Tuesday, I have a feature called "Telling Tuesday," where I give a "telling" prompt, and ask my blog readers to "show" the scene, to use all five senses to "put us in the scene."

The article "Showing vs. Telling - When Telling is Okay," (J.A. Bennett's blog) suggests that "showing isn't perfect 100% of the time," and gives several examples. The article (and its comments) is a good reminder not to go overboard with "showing."

# # #

And on the same subject of "overdoing it," this brief post, "Something Should Remain Unsaid," on the Advice to Writers blog, reminded me of a critique I once received, when a wise-beyond-his-years young man told me, "Trust your reader. You don't need to tell him everything." As a hands-on-Type-A-control-freak writer, I understand that my natural inclination is to guide my reader through each line of my story, to tell him what he should be thinking and feeling. After that comment, I realized I need to "let go and trust" in my writing.

It's something I could probably stand to do in my real life, too.


  1. Re: Ms Hemmings, writers have always sucked hind teat in Hollywood, as Raymond Chandler noted in 1945.

    1. I'm afraid it's sad, but true, ed_quixote. Life isn't fair, that's for sure. :)

  2. Jan, I've seen, 'The Descendants' three times and finally caught Kaui's name last night towards the end. I agree that she deserved more recognition. I want to purchase and read the book because it was a great film. There was something about the film that peaked my interest and you know what they say! The book is always better than the movie. It's a simple story expressed with a lot of emotion from every character and you emphasize with those characters. I love a film that can do that.

    1. I liked "The Descendants" too, Victor. Funny though, I'm probably one of few women who is not a George Clooney fan--he always acts the same in his movies. But, the story and the roles played by the others actors were fantastic. I'd like to see it again, and like you, would like to read the book.

      By the way, hope you're feeling better!

  3. That should've been empathize. I know you knew what I meant.